LONDON, February 22, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --
The welfare to work programmes are part of an intensely regulated and audited industry. We are committed to honesty and transparency, so these are the facts relating to all incidents which have arisen in our welfare to work contracts since 2005:
We have an internal audit team which regularly monitors our work and that of our subcontractors. On top of that, we are subject to rigorous external audits.
From December 2005 to date, nine cases have been referred to DWP to review claims submissions. This includes the recent case being handled by Thames Valley Police. It's important to state that all these cases relate to historical contracts and that the current Work Programme eliminates any opportunity for malpractice because it is computer-based and payment is on results.
Of these nine referrals, one, dating back to May 2008, has resulted in the prosecution of a member of A4e staff for fraud, which was widely reported at the time.
Seven of the cases are now closed, and only two are outstanding.
The first of these is the incident being handled by Thames Valley Police and involves four former members of staff.
A second police investigation is outstanding. However this does not involve any A4e staff, and concerns one subcontractor out of more than 200 who work for A4e. The subcontractor was referred to the police in February 2011, who are currently handling the matter.
In the remaining cases where a prosecution did not arise, the DWP's view was that these were not incidences of malpractice.
Since 2005, the number of claims rejected within these nine cases equate to less than 0.01% of all the claims made to DWP.
Last night, CEO Andrew Dutton said:
"I can't emphasise enough that there is no place for fraud at A4e, and that is why we have created rigorous internal processes, cooperate with all external audits, and have brought any known issues to the attention of the authorities.
We remain proud of our record in helping the long term unemployed into work, which equates to helping one person into work every seven minutes."
Head of Communications, A4e
Senior Account Manager, PHA Media
For more information about the welfare to work industry, contact ERSA: